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Commerce Committee Holds Hearing on DDA Legislation, Push for Opt Outs Continues

Posted on September 24, 2014 by Dene Westbrook

Today the House Commerce committee took testimony on HB 5856, the legislation introduced by Rep. Kowall yesterday dealing with DDA transparency and spending. If you recall it contains a number of transparency pieces as well as teeth to obtain compliance.

Much of the testimony for the day, including that of the League’s, centered not on the bill itself necessarily but what the bill does not have in it: opt outs or resetting of baselines, both of which are extremely problematic.  There is a clear desire on Rep. Kowall’s part and a push by the Michigan Association of Counties to add in some element of either or both of those concepts.  It remains unclear which direction the bill sponsor is wanting to go in at this time.  It is imperative that you contact your representative and tell them how detrimental an opt out or resetting of baselines would be for economic development in your community.

Dana Foster

Dana Foster, city manager, City of Brighton

There were many members who testified or came to show their support providing a good representation of areas from across the state and I thank each and everyone one of them. The Michigan Downtown Association was in attendance as well and testified in support of the legislation.

At this time, they intend on having a committee hearing again next week Wednesday on this legislation and potentially voting it out of committee that same day.  If you are interested in testifying, please let me know.  Again, please contact your representatives regarding this legislation and opt outs/resetting of baselines.

Nikki Brown is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development and land use issues.  She can be reached at nbrown@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

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